- Mason Kelley, Reporter, Recruiting Nation
Tosh Lupoi grew up in the Bay Area. He graduated from Concord (Calif.) De La Salle High School. He spent six years as a player at Cal, two as a graduate assistant and four more as the Golden Bears’ defensive line coach.
His deep ties to the university allowed him to pitch the program from a unique perspective based on personal experience.
That connection, combined with his ability to connect with the teenagers, helped build relationships with the athletes Cal wanted to bring into the program. It made him one of the top up-and-coming recruiters in the country.
When he agreed to become Washington’s defensive-line coach and defensive run game coordinator in January, he made the tough choice to leave home. He took a chance that joining Washington’s staff was in the best interest of his coaching career.
“Sometimes it takes exactly that, whether it’s a visit or just making that decision by leaving everything you’ve known and where you’ve been raised and all that good stuff,” Lupoi said. “To leave home and experience something new is sometimes the best thing to do. For me, it definitely was.”
It has been more than six months since Lupoi made the move to Seattle. The fresh foundation has created a new way to relate to recruits.
“To tell you the truth, from the recruiting aspect, it’s a good story to share with the guys we’re recruiting,” he said. “It’s not too far off from being in similar shoes with these guys as they’re evaluating programs to look at and potentially join and make that life decision.”
When asked how those “similar shoes” fit so far, Lupoi didn’t hesitate.
“It’s awesome,” he said “It’s an awesome family. It’s an awesome culture to be a part of. It’s something where, I’m waking up every day and I’m jacked to go to work. I’m excited about it. I’m really excited about the future here and just feel great about being here and making the decision to come here.”